Jun 30, 2015

June Book Reviews

June was a busy month. I wasn't sure if I would get very much reading done, but I carved out time throughout my traveling, wedding-related appointments, work, packing up my apartment, and general busyness for three books. Reading is one of the things that calms me down, so it was a much-needed reward to slide into my armchair in my little reading nook. 

Kelly Tough
Erin Kelly and Jill Kelly
Erin is the eldest daughter of Buffalo Bill's former star quarterback, Jim Kelly. She shares the struggles and triumphs their family experienced while Jim underwent chemotherapy and radiation for oral cancer for the second time. Her faith in God's sovereignty amidst the unmeasurable pain of watching her beloved dad suffer from cancer was unbelievably encouraging and beautiful to witness through this book. Her honesty with her raw emotions and questions towards God made the book deeply personal and real. She didn't skirt around the painful reality of cancer while still rejoicing in God's love for her family through this time. 

The term "Kelly tough" was coined early in Erin's life and reflected their grit iron determination and resolve, but as Jim struggled through cancer treatments, it also became a reminder of the strength that he found in God to carry him through unimaginable amounts of pain. #kellytough became a popular hashtag during Jim Kelly's cancer treatments as Buffalo Bill's fans (as well as many who didn't even follow football) supported Jim and his family through their prayers, well-wishes, and encouraging messages. Thus, Erin's aptly named book came from a place of both heartache and joy, which she beautifully stitched together to be both a memoir as well as an encouragement to look to God through life's dark valleys.

**** Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free through Icon Media Group  in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.
The Porcelain Thief: Searching the Middle Kingdom for Buried China
Huan Hsu
Huan is a Chinese-American journalist from Utah who embarks on a journey through China to discover his family's history as he searches for buried porcelain belonging to his great-great-grandfather. Buried in 1938 when the Japanese army arrived in his small village, forcing him to flee with his family, Huan's great-great-grandfather's porcelain becomes somewhat of a family legend. Some say it was dug up by neighbors or distant family for monetary value (it was thought to be equal in value to royal porcelain) while others want to forget the past and it's mysteries. Huan Hsu expertly blends a memoir, travelogue, social and political history into a witty and entertaining book that walks the reader through China -- past and present.

**** Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free through Blogging For Books  in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.
And the Shofar Blew
Francine Rivers
I love everything Francine Rivers writes and this book certainly did not disappoint. Though I was more used to Francine's historical fiction (Redeeming Love and the Mark of the Lion series), this present-day story was expertly written. Paul Hudson is the central figure of the book. A young, new pastor of a small church of senior citizens, his desire to serve the Lord as the new pastor morphs over the years into  people-pleasing and ultimately selfish motives. Those affected on the sidelines include his loving wife, his son, and true friends who try to correct him along the way. The book was realistic and cautionary in many ways, but also full of redemption and the gospel message interwoven amidst the pages in the artistic style of Rivers. 


  1. I enjoyed reading your reviews! Reading calms me, too, but lately I just haven't felt like it - I'm gonna have to work on that. I'm keeping you & Greg in my prayers during this engagement season.


    1. Thanks, Bess!! I appreciate your prayers and will be praying for you too!! Email me updates when you have time! :)


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Elle Alice